Khuddaka Nikāya

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Canto I.
Psalms of Single Verses


Translated from the Pali by Mrs. C.A.F. Rhys Davids.


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He was reborn in this Buddha-age at Sāvatthī, in the house of a brahmin grandee. For seven years he was reared within the precincts of home, and when at seven years old he was taken out on the estate, he saw an aged person, a diseased person, and a corpse for the first time. When he was told about these things, he was filled with dread, went to the Vihāra, heard the doctrine, and gained his parents' consent to enter the Order. Thereupon he won insight and arahantship.

Him thus having arrived thereat the Brethren asked:

'How is it you were stirred to come forth at so tender an age?' He thereupon, confessing aññā, signalized his going forth in this verse:

[73] I saw an aged one, and one afflicted with disease,
And then I saw one dead, with all his span of life consumed.
Thence I forth going left the world to live the other life,
And from me put away the enticing sweets of sense-desire.

[74] Now, because he left the world while so young, the Thera was always called Boy (Māṇava).[1]


[1] One is tempted to see here no individual sharing the experiences of the Buddha, but a type of the earnest youthful religious mind gripped by life's realities.


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